Music has a way of moving you like nothing else can.
"It's something you have to put your heart into to be able to relate it to others," said Kaila DeLany.
She should know. She puts her heart into it every day.
The 17-year-old senior from Tarpon Springs High School knew the moment she first heard the sound of the oboe that it was for her.
"I was like, 'I need to play that!," she said. "That's the most beautiful sound I've ever heard and I want to sound like that."
And believe me, when I say she put her heart into it, I mean it. Her accomplishment with her unusual choice of instrument is getting her into the most renowned school in the world- The Eastman School of Music.
"The next chapter I'm starting is crazy," DeLany said, "It's a dream come true because this is my dream school. It's been my dream school for five years to get in. Now I'm going to be going there! It's such an incredible feeling."
And she's going on a full ride, too. She's won every tri-county and state scholarship you can think of, totaling somewhere in the neighborhood of $150,000.
So many, in fact, that she has a hard time recalling them all. I asked her to name the ones she'd received for my notes. She had to think a moment. In the silence, we both started laughing.
"If you've won so many, you can't remember," I said, "That's a good place to be!"
Her biggest thrill to date is winning the top prize from Walker's Rising Stars.
"It's been my dream to be on stage," she said with a broad smile, "Let alone win."
This summer, she will add another accomplishment to her very long list: traveling with the National Youth Orchestra- a Carnegie Hall project. She'll be traveling back and forth between the east and the west coast, something she is very excited about beginning.
She is accomplished and humble. She's kept her academics a priority, earning top marks there as well.
She gives her mother a lot of credit for being there with her all the way.
Ten years from now, she wants to be playing in an orchestra. Maybe one day, she'll go on to teach, she says.
Kaila found the gift of music early and it will take her as far as she wants to go.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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